Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)

First recorded by Frankie Valli (1965).
Hit versions by The Walker Brothers (US #13/UK #1/GER #4 1966), Cher (UK #26 1996).
Also recorded by The Fuzzy Bunnies (US #115 1968), Keane (2004).

From the wiki: “‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’, written by Bob Crewe (‘Silence is Golden‘, ‘Silhouettes‘, ‘Lady Marmalade‘) and Bob Gaudio (‘Sherry’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’), was originally recorded in 1965 by Frankie Valli for his 1966 solo album Frankie Valli: Solo. Although it was recorded at a Four Seasons recording session (with the other group members at that time), it was Valli’s first official ‘solo’ single in almost a decade. (He had previously recorded as ‘Frankie Valley’ and ‘Frankie Tyler’.) Valli’s version, however, failed to chart in the Billboard Hot 100.

“The Walker Brothers Trio was formed in Los Angeles in 1964 by John Walker. Late in 1964, they met drummer Gary Leeds, previously of The Standells, who had recently toured the UK with singer P.J. Proby. Leeds persuaded them that the band’s Rock ‘n roll and Blues style would go down well in ‘swinging London,’ where Proby had already succeeded. When they landed in England, record producer Johnny Franz was keen to sign them up. Philips recorded and released the group’s version of ‘Make It Easy on Yourself‘, a Burt Bacharach and Hal David ballad previously recorded by Jerry Butler. It was sung by Engel (by now called Scott Walker) and produced very much in the style of Phil Spector’s ‘Wall of Sound’ productions. By August 1965, ‘Make It Easy on Yourself’ had entered the UK Top 10, eventually reaching the top of the record chart.

“In March 1966, The Walker Brothers hit #1 for the second time in six months with ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)’. Their popularity in the UK – particularly that of Scott – reached a new high, and their fan club in that country was said to have been larger than The Beatles.

“A ‘psychedelic’ production of ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)’ was recorded in 1968 by The Fuzzy Bunnies – a studio group put together by songwriter/producer Ellie Greenwich (‘Hanky Panky‘, ‘Do Wah Diddy Diddy‘) and producer Mike Rashkow. Their version ‘bubbled’ under the Hot 100.

“In the summer of 1996, Cher released her remake as the fourth official European single from her twenty-second album, It’s a Man’s World. The song went to #26 on the UK Singles chart. Cher’s recording was also used in The X-Files episode ‘The Post-Modern Prometheus’.

“In 2004, the British group Keane recorded a special version of this song. The single was selected in the summer of 2004 by readers of the New Music Express (NME) magazine and was first released as a download-only charity single in September 2004 for the War Child foundation website.”

The Walker Brothers, “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)” (1966):

The Fuzzy Bunnies, “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)” (1968):

Cher, “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)” (1996):

Keane, “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)” (2004):